Where Do You Go When You Can’t Go Out?

Photo by Terrye Turpin

I hope everyone is safe and snug at home. I’ve given up the search for toilet paper. Instead I hear my mother’s ghost warning me each time I approach the bathroom. Toilet paper must have cost more in the 70s.

“Don’t use so much! Stop spinning that roll!”

Mom grew up in the Great Depression. She told me they used the Sears Roebuck catalog, but not the slick pages. Also they’d save corn cobs after they ate the corn, then stock the outhouse with the dried cobs. She claimed they burned them later, for fuel.

We aren’t quite there yet, my husband Andrew and I are well provisioned with most things, except eggs and bananas. I’ve found a local 7-11 that stocks bananas so all that is left is for me to adopt a chicken and we will be ready for any apocalypse.

So what do you do all day when you shouldn’t go out?


Better World Books – Purchase a used book here to help support worldwide literacy programs.

Thrift Books – Another cool site for used books. Free shipping on orders of $10 or more. They also support a prison literacy program.

Nowhere Bookshop – If you’re a fan of author Jenny Lawson you’ll be excited to shop her store before it officially opens. Order a book online and support a great independent bookseller.

Any independent bookstore in your area. Amazon will survive the pandemic but small, local stores will struggle. These places also employ staff and contribute to your local economy. Consider shopping local online before you send your money to Amazon.


Farmbox – If you’re in the Dallas Fort Worth Area they deliver a selection of local organic produce. I was able to order a good variety of fruits and vegetables. If you’re outside DFW, search for local produce delivery. Chances are they will have a decent selection available and can restock faster because they are buying from area producers. There’s always 7-11 for bananas.

Imperfect Foods – I’ve just started with this service. Their first box had a very limited amount of produce available, but I was able to add yogurt, ground beef, and ground turkey at a reasonable price. Higher than my local grocery store, but I won’t have to go fight infected crowds. If you’re interested in checking them out, here’s a link for $10 off your first box – http://imprfct.us/v/terrye_3

Minimus.biz – They sell tiny travel size products. They’re out of hand sanitizer, but take a look at all the other products. I love ordering the individually packaged salad dressings for when I take my lunch to work. These will come in handy when we are allowed back in the office.


Louvre Museum Virtual Tour – Visit the Louvre in Paris without getting on a plane.

Future Learn – Take a class for free. You can purchase unlimited access or view the courses for free for their duration plus 14 days.

The Great Courses – They have a 14 Day Free Trial. Or check out your public library. Mine offers access to the Great Courses for free, through the Rb Digitial app.

Kanopy – If you run out of things to binge on Netflix, check out Kanopy. If your public library or university is a member (most are) you can stream free movies.

Audible – They’re offering free stories for children for as long as schools are closed.

Drive-in theaters – If you’re not under a stay-at-home order, you can visit an old-fashioned drive-in theater. Many are open now, but they might not be able to offer a snack bar and probably will have limited restrooms open. If you’re willing to travel and stay put in your car, you can bring your own snacks and have an adventure.


Zoom – Hang out with your bookclub, writer’s group, study partners, friends and family for free video conferencing.

Postcrossing – Connect with the world the old-fashioned way, through the mail. Join here for free and they’ll give you addresses around the world. Send a postcard and you’ll be added to the list to receive one. Don’t have postcards at home? Make your own. Use up those fancy notecards, index cards, or stacks of Christmas cards you never used. Make sure anything you send meets the postal regulations for size. Order stamps here without leaving your house – USPS.com

Good luck friends in isolation, drop me a comment below and share your favorite way to spend time during the pandemic.


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